Editor in chief of the Volkskrant, Pieter Klok, takes Maurice de Hond’s criticism about the corona approach seriously, but “he does make it a bit of a competition: who is most right or most wrong”, he says in Speech makers.
Now that the worst peak in the number of infections has passed, more attention is being paid to news other than corona. There is also more criticism of the policy of the government and RIVM. De Hond insists that due to the poor ventilation policy, unnecessary deaths have occurred.
According to Klok, it is not a competition. “It’s just a virus that we knew nothing about and that we can slowly fathom a little bit better.” Klok does not say that De Hond is wrong, but “I don’t believe that people understand this virus better because they are much smarter.”
AD columnist Angela de Jong also thinks that the corona virus is different from politics or football, about which 17 million Dutch people have an opinion. “There are certain people in society who understand this slightly more than others.”
Try to agree
At the beginning of the crisis in March, Klok argued in it Mediaforum to support the chosen line of RIVM. “Because we didn’t know anything, I thought: for God’s sake let’s support a line.” Klok finds it important to act together as a country in times of crisis.
“If there is a crisis, you have to try to agree.” According to Klok, this does not mean that there should be no criticism. “It is good to have a debate, but not a debate in which everyone tries to be right.” According to him, De Volkskrant has tried to bring together people with different voices in various articles.
He calls it bad journalism to put the opinion of pollster Maurice de Hond against the opinion of RIVM. According to him, these do not weigh equally heavily. Other virologists and scientists at RIVM are also annoyed by the one-sided view of De Hond, which they believe makes any nuanced discussion impossible.
In addition, he criticizes the mistrust in society. “You can strongly disagree with RIVM and you can have good reason for that, but that is different from mistrust that they have a political agenda or something.”
Download de NPO Radio 1-app
You will not miss anything with our app. Whether it is news from home and abroad, sports, tech or culture; with the NPO Radio 1 app you are always informed. Download it here for iOS and here for Android.